May 26: The Late Jazz Legend Miles Davis Birthday

miles-davis

Miles Davis (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991)

“Don’t play what’s there; play what’s not there.”
― Miles Davis

“Good music is good no matter what kind of music it is.”
― Miles Davis

Miles Davis is my definition of cool. I loved to see him in the small clubs playing his solo, turn
his back on the crowd, put down his horn and walk off the stage, let the band keep playing,
and then come back and play a few notes at the end.
~Bob Dylan (to Scott Cohen – Sept 1985)

Miles Davis Quintet – Footprints – 31 Oct 67 (Stockholm, Sweden):

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April 29: Jazz Legend Duke Ellington Birthday

If it sounds good and feels good, then it IS good!
~Duke Ellington

Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don’t want it.
~Duke Ellington

By the time of his passing, he was considered amongst the world’s greatest composers and musicians. The French government honored him with their highest award, the Legion of Honor, while the government of the United States bestowed upon him the highest civil honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
~allaboutjazz.com

Take The “A” Train (Reveille with Beverly from 1943):

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April 12: Herbie Hancock was born in 1940

I don’t look at music from the standpoint of being a musician; I look at it from the standpoint of being a human being.
~Herbie Hancock

It’s not exclusive, but inclusive, which is the whole spirit of jazz.
~Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock is a true icon of modern music. Throughout his explorations, he has transcended limitations and genres while still maintaining his unique, unmistakable voice.
~allaboutjazz.com

April 12: Herbie Hancock was born in 1940 – Happy 75th birthday!

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March 18: Miles Davis released “Round About Midnight” in 1957

 

There’s little else to say except that ‘Round About Midnight is among the most essential of Davis’ Columbia recordings.
~Thom Jurek (allmusic.com)

An absolute classic of modern jazz, with brilliant solo work from the leader and from Coltrane, who was preparing for his own solo career at this point, plus subtle backing from the rhythm section. Tunes range from Monk’s famous title track to the ancient standard “Bye Bye Blackbird.”
~Wilson & Alroy’s Record Reviews

Stylistically, Midnight encompasses standards (or soon-to-be standards) such as “Dear Old Stockholm”, “Bye-Bye Blackbird”, Tadd Dameron’s “Tadd’s Delight”, and Jackie McLean’s forward-thinking composition “Little Melonae.” Miles and company reprise “Budo” from the historic Birth of the Cool sessions. The standout track is Davis’s Harmon-muted reading of Thelonious Monk’s ballad, “‘Round Midnight”, which is still a Miles standard bearer… If you want to hear the origins of post-bop modern jazz, this is it.
~Eugene Holley, Jr.

‘Round Midnight:

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January 17: Aretha Franklin released Soul ’69 in 1969

One of her most overlooked ’60s albums, on which she presented some of her jazziest material, despite the title. None of these cuts were significant hits, and none were Aretha originals; she displayed her characteristically eclectic taste in the choice of cover material, handling compositions by Percy Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, and, at the most pop-oriented end of her spectrum, John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind” and Bob Lind’s “Elusive Butterfly.”

Her vocals are consistently passionate and first-rate, though, as is the musicianship; besides contributions from the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, session players include respected jazzmen Kenny Burrell, Ron Carter, Grady Tate, David Newman, and Joe Zawinul.
– Richie Unterberger (allmusic) Continue reading “January 17: Aretha Franklin released Soul ’69 in 1969”

December 23: The late Chet Baker was born in 1929

“People said I’d never make 35, then I’d never make 40, 45; now I’m almost 50, so Im beginning to think maybe they might be wrong.”
– Chet Baker

“An Evening with Chet Baker” (aka “Live at Le Dreher 1980”) Director: Leon Terjanian (43min video):

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